draw a bead on

Idioms & Phrases

draw a bead on

Take careful aim, as in The debater drew a bead on his opponent. This term, dating from about 1830, alludes to the bead on a revolver or rifle, that is, a small knob in the foresight. [c. 1930]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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